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The Best USA-Made Backpacks for EDC

Best USA Made Backpacks 0 Hero

Whether it be from a fledgling startup brand or an established player continuing a long-held tradition of American manufacturing, USA-made backpacks often represent some of the finest bags on the planet. With so many packs currently being constructed in the States, it can, however, be difficult to hone in on the best bags this sector has to offer. So, with this in mind, we’ve thoroughly scoured the product space to deliver this curated guide to the best American-made backpacks. Whether you’re after a military-style rucksack, a hiking daypack, or a modern everyday carry backpack, this buyer’s guide is sure to include a bag that will resonate with you, regardless of your wants, needs, and personal taste.

The Best USA-Made Backpacks

The USA-Made Difference

What Exactly Is So Special Or Significant About American-Made Backpacks?

The words “made in America” don’t just convey a product’s country of origin, but instead speak to an overall level of quality and craftsmanship that can’t be replicated through corner-cutting and cheap, bottom-of-the-barrel labor. On top of also affording a sense of pride and patriotism, USA-made items tend to be built to higher standards, and by trained craftsmen and laborers that are fairly compensated for their expertise and hard work. It’s also commonplace to see these meticulous manufacturing operations utilize materials that are just as premium as the bag’s build quality — many of which are sourced domestically from within the Unite States. And while a great many of today’s industries have been outsourced to countries overseas, there are still certain segments that feature a decent number of products that are designed and manufactured in America, such as the USA-made backpack space that we’ll be exploring below. 

Domestically-Crafted Carry Solutions

What Factors Should I Consider When Shopping For A USA-Made Backpack?

With so many different styles of backpacks on the market, it can legitimately be difficult even knowing where to begin looking when buying a new backpack — and USA-made packs are by no means an exception. Below, we’ll briefly break down the most pivotal factors you should take into account when shopping for an American-made backpack. 

Overall Design: No matter where they’re made, backpacks come in all manner of different shapes and styles, from traditional book-bag-style zip-ups to roll-tops to panel-loaders and practically everything in between. Whether it be ease of access, overall durability, or weatherproofing, each style of pack offers its own unique strengths and drawbacks — making this a wildly important area to review when shopping, as general designs and layouts can play an enormous major role in what makes a bag special or unique — as thoroughly evidenced by models like the Mission Workshop Rhake VX, DSPTCH Ruckpack, and GORUCK GR1. Your intended use and personal aesthetic taste should both be guiding forces when considering this aspect. 

Size: Backpacks are obviously produced in a wide array of different sizes. When reviewing this area, we recommend considering both your intended use and the loadout of gear that you plan on regularly carrying as these factors should help give you a sense of the amount of storage space that you’ll likely need. It’s also worth noting that there are expandable backpacks on the market that can be opened up to provide just a bit more space when needed. 

Primary Materials: One of the single biggest factors that determines the overall quality of any backpack or bag is the material used to craft its shell. Today’s more premium bags often features shells cut from high-denier — often ballistic-grade — nylons, advanced sailcloth fabrics, and waxed canvas, though it’s also commonplace to see proprietary constructions used like Dyneema or CORDRUA. What’s more, in addition to a bag’s shell construction, you’ll also want to look into whether or not a pack’s shell material has been further fortified via some type of treatment or coating to bolster weather resistance. 

Secondary Materials: Though admittedly not as pivotal of a factor as a backpack’s primary construction, secondary materials are nonetheless important as they also play a role in determining a bag’s overall quality. When reviewing this area, you’ll want to check out secondary constructions used for elements such as a backpack’s shoulder straps, back pad, grab handles, and liner material, just to name but a few. 

Hardware & Trim: Alongside shell material, another factor that separates the more premium backpacks on the market from their cheaper counterparts is hardware and trim elements. Playing a major role in a backpack’s overall user experience, important hardware elements to consider include the bag’s buckles, fasteners, and zipper tracks. For trim elements, you should focus on elements like logo patches, labels, and any accent materials.

Build Quality & Craftsmanship: It’s not just the materials used that determine a backpack’s overall quality and durability, but also the manner in which said materials have been pieced together. As such, you’ll want to look into the construction technique — or techniques — that was/were used to make the pack along with any reinforced elements or areas. While this area is always of major importance when shopping for a bag, it’s even more crucial when looking at USA-made packs, as domestically-made bags tend to feature much higher levels of craftsmanship, build quality, and fit and finish compared to their foreign-made mass-produced counterparts

Organizational Amenities: Backpacks have massively evolved over the last decade alone. And in addition to their material selections, another way in which these carry solutions have advanced is in their increasingly robust and well-calculated organizational amenities. This includes any external quick-access pockets or water bottle holders, as well as the bag’s interior organizational features.   

Weatherproofing: A backpack’s ability to stand up to the elements also plays a pivotal role in the overall user experience. As such, when shopping, you’ll want to consider a bag’s level of weather and waterproofing — areas owed to factors such as the bag’s shell material, coatings and treatments, as well as the type of closure and zipper tracks being used. This factor is obviously even more important if you happen to reside in a region that receives ample rain. 

Tech Storage: As our devices continue to become increasingly integral parts of our lives, the need to safely store and transport your tech has never been more important — making a bag’s tech storage pretty important. When checking out this area, you’ll want to look into whether or not a pack has a laptop or tablet compartment. If it does, you’ll want to review aspects such as its size, whether its padded, or whether it’s suspended or using a false bottom. On top of organizational amenities designed specifically for housing cables, wireless mice, charging units, and other essential tech peripherals, some of today’s best backpacks also features storage for a supplementary tablet — or second laptop. 

MIS Roll Up Backpack

MIS Roll Up Backpack
Photo: MIS
  • Classic military ruck design brought to life using modern materials
  • Produced in a dozen camo & solid color options
  • Offers stellar bang-for-your-buck
  • Super comfortable & supportive harness system
  • Rolltop closure offers solid weatherproofing & expandable storage
  • Back panel has full clamshell zip, allowing easy secondary access to main compartment
  • Only fits laptops of up to 13”

Best Minimalist Pick: Offered in a dozen different solid and camo color choices, MIS’s Roll Up Backpack is a modern-day take on classic military-style roll-ups. Measuring  13.5” W x 19” H x 7” D and affording 30 liters of internal storage space, the Roll Up Backpack is made in America from a water-resistant urethane-coated 1,000-denier CORDURA nylon and features heavy-duty YKK self-repairing nylon coil zippers, dual full-length PALS webbing rows, a top haul loop, adjustable and padded shoulder straps outfitted with gear loops and D-rings, and a laptop compartment that can fit models of up to 13”.

Primary Construction: Urethane-Coated 1,000D CORDURA
Volume: 30 Liters
Weight: 1.97LBs
Laptop Sleeve: 13”
Origin: Los Angeles, CA

Arktype Dashpack 15L

  • Features sleek, minimalistic, low-profile design
  • Great organizational amenities
  • Offers stellar bang-for-your-buck
  • Uses mil-spec webbing test-rated to 4,000lbs
  • Accessing zippered compartments within other zippered compartments can be tricky depending on contents

Best Value Pick: Made by hand in America from materials sourced in the USA, this backpack is a special-edition, waxed canvas version of Arktype’s best-selling bag. Now on its second generation, the pack is made from a 10oz Army Duck waxed canvas — a construction that’s been paired with YKK AquaGuard #8 water-repellent zippers and a 210-denier double-walled ripstop nylon liner. Separating this bag from other offerings on the market are a unique shoulder harness design that’s made with four-panel seatbelt webbing and Duraflex Sliplok buckles, Evazote high-density closed-cell EV50 foam shoulder and pack panels, a padded 15” laptop sleeve supplemented via a secondary 14” tablet or notebook sleeve, front ladder-stitched webbing made from 4000lb critical use Class 1 Mil-Spec webbing, and dual external water bottle holders, amongst numerous other amenities. 

Primary Construction: 10oz Army Duck Waxed Canvas Or DWR-Coated 1,680D Ballistic Nylon
Volume: 15 Liters
Weight: 2.25LBs (or 2LBs for ballistic nylon version)
Laptop Sleeve: 15”
Origin: San Francisco, CA

Triple Aught Design FAST Pack Scout

Triple Aught Design FAST Pack Scout
Photo: Triple Aught Design
  • Incredibly modular & versatile design
  • Super rugged materials & build quality
  • Constructed around HDPE frame sheet
  • Lightweight & incredibly comfortable
  • Features full clamshell main compartment & full-length inverted front pocket
  • Devoid of a laptop compartment
  • Requires add-ons to fully capitalize on pack’s potential
  • Minimal organizational amenities

Best Tactical Pick: Known for delivering military-grade everyday carry and outdoor gear with an unmistakable tactical twist, Triple Aught Design has long produced some of the best backpacks and bags currently being crafted in America. Case in point; the Triple Aught Design FAST Pack Scout. Offering 15 liters of storage space while weighing just 1kg (2.33lbs), the FAST Pack Scout combines the highly durable and incredibly modular nature of TAD’s original FAST platform with the weight and agility of a minimalist summit pack. Cut from an ultra-rugged amalgamation of 1,000-denier and 500-denier CORDURA that’s reinforced with Hypalon, the backpack is constructed around an HDPE frame sheet and benefits from the use of Evazote closed cell cross-linked ethylene copolymer foam padding set beneath DRI-LEX Aerospacer moisture management mesh. 

Primary Construction: 1,000D & 500D CORDURA
Volume: 15L
Weight: 2.33LBs
Laptop Sleeve: N/A
Origin: San Francisco, CA

DEFY Bags Menace Backpack 2.0

Photo: DEFY Bags
  • Built from mil-spec materials
  • Super, super rugged build quality
  • Produced in several ultra-rugged shell constructions
  • Using top-shelf hardware w/ weatherproof zips & COBRA buckle main closure
  • Compatible w/ array of optional add-ons
  • Can be difficult to get in-between drops

Best Upgrade Pick: DEFY Bags’ second-generation Menace Backpack is an incredibly well-designed, feature-laden pack that’s made in the U.S. exclusively using top-shelf materials and hardware. Affording 18 liters of internal real estate, the Menace Backpack 2.0 is made from a water-resistant ballistic-grade 1,050-denier nylon — as well as a version cut from TexWax canvas — and features 2″ AustriAlpin COBRA buckle closures, a handle made from 1” mil-spec webbing, exterior pockets that can fit oversized 32oz Nalgene bottles, YKK VISLON AquaGuard Zippers, closed-cell foam that’s used for the bag’s laptop sleeve, shoulder straps, and back panel, a laptop compartment that can house a 16” MacBook Pro, and an antimicrobial 500-denier Silver CORDURA liner. 

Primary Construction: 1,050D Ballistic Nylon Or TexWax Canvas
Volume: 18 Liters
Weight: 3LBS
Laptop Sleeve: 16”
Origin: Chicago, IL

The Brown Buffalo ConcealPack 21L EDC

Photo: The Brown Buffalo
  • Made by hand in small batches
  • Sleek, minimalistic exterior design
  • Offers excellent weatherproofing
  • Stellar build quality
  • Produced in several ultra-rugged shell constructions
  • Apex 3D spacer-mesh shoulder straps & backside of harness use wicking & antimicrobial A.M.Y. & Sorbtek yarn
  • Can be difficult to get in-between drops
  • Expensive price

Best Everyday Carry Pick: Any time you’re shopping for a backpack, we’d always suggest checking out the latest available offerings from the renowned outfit that is The Brown Buffalo. Crafted in America from the buyer’s choice of either ballistic-grade 1,050-denier nylon, X-Pac VX-21 or X50 sailcloth — all of which are DWR-coated— the 26-liter ConcealPack is made for both travel and everyday carry use, and as such sports a generous range of useful features and amenities. This includes two webbing patch points, a removable sternum strap and quick-release shoulder strap buckles, ultra-beefy reinforced grab handles, YKK AquaGuard zippers, a luggage handle pass-through, and reinforcements at all key stress areas, ensuring years if not decades of regular use. 

Primary Construction: DWR-Coated X-Pac VX-21, DWR-Coated X50, or DWR-Coated 1,050D Ballistic Nylon
Volume: 26 Liters
Weight: 2.9LBs, 2.6LBs, or 2.9LBs
Laptop Sleeve: 15”
Origin: Costa Mesa, CA

Bradley Mountain The Biographer

Photo: Bradley Mountain
  • Shell uses double-layered 18oz waxed canvas construction
  • Accented w/ 9oz harness leather & solid brass & copper hardware
  • Features antique brass zippers
  • Equipped with wool-lined & padded leather harness system
  • Forms patina over time w/ regular use
  • Opening main compartment is fairly involved
  • Expenisve price

Best Vintage-Inspired Pick: Offering between 15 and 20 liters of storage space, Bradley Mountain’s The Biographer is a vintage-inspired bag that lends itself to use in the city as well as off-grid locales. The bag’s robust 18oz waxed duck canvas primary construction is supplemented via genuine American-sourced 9oz harness leather and features antiqued brass zippers, solid brass and copper hardware, wool-padded straps, a rolltop closure, and a laptop compartment that can house notebooks of up to 13”.

Primary Construction: 18oz Waxed Duck Canvas
Volume: 15 – 20 Liters
Weight: N/A
Laptop Sleeve: 16”
Origin: Columbia, TN


  • Flat-lay-opening design inspired by Spec-Ops medical packs
  • Unparalleled mil-spec durability & build quality
  • Strength-tested at over 400 pounds
  • Backed by lifetime warranty
  • Doesn’t feature waist & sternum straps
  • Expensive price

Best Military-Inspired Pick: Taking inspiration from Special Forces Medical Rucks with a flat lay, full-length clamshell opening, GORUCK’s GR1 has long been one of our favorite backpacks in existence. Boasting exceptional strength, durability, and overall build quality, the GR1 is cut from ultra-rugged 1,000-denier ballistic-grade CORDURA. Compliant with carry-on sizing requirements for air travel, the bottom panel and handle of this military-inspired bag are also crafted from a 210-denier nylon. Offered in 20-liter and 26-liter sizes, this bag also gets three rows of MOLLE webbing, a literally bombproof laptop sleeve, 550 paracord zipper pulls, and heavily padded shoulder straps that evenly distribute weight across the wearer’s body. Best of all, this USA-made backpack comes backed by GORUCK’s lifetime guarantee

Check out our in-depth GORUCK GR1 review here.

Primary Construction: 1,000D CORDURA
Volume: 20L or 26L
Weight: 2.8LBs or 3.1LBs
Laptop Sleeve: 15” or 16”
Origin: Jacksonville Beach, FL

DSPTCH Ruckpack

DSPTCH Ruckpack
  • Modeled after classic military rucksacks
  • Features panel-loading design w/ expandable top
  • Stellar construction & build quality
  • Compatible w/ huge array of optional add-ons
  • Offered in multiple construction options
  • Backed by a lifetime warranty
  • Would benefit from alloy hardware
  • Expensive price

Best Overall Pick: A modernized take on traditional military rucksacks, the DSPTCH Ruckpack is a highly-calculated USA-made backpack with a panel-loading design with an expandable top. Made entirely in America and backed by a lifetime warranty, this bag is cut from hardwearing yet sustainable ECOPAK 450RS fabric using a 45° CrossPly yarn and a super durable RUV matte film backing — though is also offered in Dot Grid and 1,680-denier ballistic nylon versions. In addition to a laptop sleeve capable of accommodating notebooks of up to 16”, the inside of the the bag has been lined with a recycled 400-denier polyester plain weave packcloth with both a DWR coating and a PU backing. Rounding out this rucksack is a suite of  Duraflex hardware,  mil-spec webbing, an included removable luggage strap.

Primary Construction: ECOPAK 450D RS W/ RUV Matte Film Backing, 1,680D Ballistic Nylon, or 420D Nylon/Poly Dot Grid Fabric
Volume: 25L
Weight: 3.25LBs
Laptop Sleeve: 16”
Origin: San Francisco, CA

Tom Bihn Techonaut 30

Photo: Tom Bihn
  • Can act as a backpack, shoulder bag, or duffel
  • Offered in huge variety of color & material options
  • Features premium hardware throughout
  • Outstanding organizational amenities inside & out
  • Expensive price
  • Strap keepers, padded hip belt, Absolute shoulder strap, & internal frame all sold as optional extras

Best Tech Pick: Produced in more than a dozen different material and color choices, Tom Bihn’s Techonaut 30 is a versatile three-way bag that can be worn as a backpack, used as a crossbody bag, or carried like a standard duffle bag. Equipped with #10 YKK Raquet-coil water-repellent zippers with lockable metal sliders, this bag is offered with primary constructions consisting of either bluesign and OEKO-TEX-certified 400-denier nylon ripstop, 525-denier 2×2 Ballistic nylon, 1,000-denier CORDURA, or 1,050-denier ballistic nylon. This bag is also offered in a larger 45-liter size. 

Primary Construction: 400D Halcyon/420D Nylon Ripstop, 525D 2×2 Ballistic Nylon, 1,000D CORDURA, or 1050D Ballistic Nylon
Volume: 30 Liters
Weight: 2.1625LBs, 2.5375LBs, 2.725LBs, or 2.55625LBs
Laptop Sleeve: 16”
Origin: Seattle, WA

Mission Workshop Rhake VX

Mission Workshop Rhake VX
Photo: Mission Workshop
  • Super unique roll-top bag design
  • Tremendously weatherproof
  • High-end construction & hardware
  • Features enormous wealth of stellar tech-focused organizational amenities
  • Can store a laptop & tablet (or 2 laptops)
  • Front pockets & sternum strap fitted w/ FIDLOCK V-buckles
  • Very expensive price
  • Internal liner isn’t fully anchored to shell

Best All-Weather Pick: Produced by hand in small batches, Mission Workshop’s American-made VX-spec Rhake backpack is undeniably one of the most capable, utilitarian, and high-end bags currently on the market. Cut from Dimension Polyant VX-21 and boasting a dual-layer construction with water-resistant zippers, this weatherproof bag also sports a slew of organizers and pockets, heavily-padded dedicated laptop and tablet compartments, a hidden zip-away water bottle pocket, a pair of FIDLOCK magnetic buckles (non-removable), a luggage handle pass-through, a ventilation-bolstering perforated foam back panel, and shoulder straps with Arkiv rails for accommodating Mission Workshop’s optional Arkiv accessories.

Check out our in-depth Mission Workshop Rhake review here.

Primary Construction: X-Pac VX-21
Volume: 22L
Weight: 3.8LBs
Laptop Sleeve: 16”
Origin: San Francisco, CA

KILLSPENCER Utility Backpack

  • Designed & made by hand in Los Angles
  • Uses mil-spec webbing test-rated to 4,000lbs
  • Equipped w/ bullhide leather front flap, handle, & accents
  • Features Riri Aquazip water-resistant zippers
  • Interior has waterproof & fire retardant nylon lining
  • Compatible w/ KILLSPENCER’s Bullhide leather Wall Mount System & Hub
  • On the heavier side at approximately 5lbs
  • Very expensive price

Best Luxury Pick: KILLSPENCER’s Utility Backpack doesn’t contain any particularly novel or innovative features but instead is simply an incredibly well-crafted, high-end take on an American-made leather backpack. Tipping the scales at around 5lbs, this pack is crafted from high-end full-grain leather and accented with genuine bull hide leather straps, flap, and trim. The bag’s 21.3 liters of storage is protected via a pair of Riri Aquazip water-resistant zippers while its grab handles are composed of mil-spec webbing rated to withstand 4,000lbs of force. Other highlights include a foam-padded and nylon-lined external laptop compartment that can house a 16″ MacBook Pro, a fire-retardant and waterproof nylon lining, a pair of interior mesh zip pockets for cables and cords, and an internal hidden stash pocket for valuables and other small essentials.

Primary Construction: Premium Full-Grain Leather
Volume: 21.3 Liters
Weight: 5LBs
Laptop Sleeve: 16”
Origin: Los Angeles, CA

Tested: The Best Everyday Carry Backpacks

Best EDC Backpacks 00 Hero

Want to check out an additional array of serious stellar bags? Then be sure to checkout our guide and hands-on review of the best everyday carry backpacks for a curated selection of carry solutions that, while not all made in America, nonetheless represent some of the finest backpacks that money can buy.